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Insulin as Monotherapy and in Combination with Other Glucose-Lowering Drugs Is Related to Increased Risk of Diagnosis of Pneumonia: A Longitudinal Assessment over Two Years

Objective: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are at an increased risk of developing infectious diseases such as pneumonia. Hitherto, there has been uncertainty as to whether there is a relationship between different antidiabetic drug combinations and development of pneumonia in this specific cohort.

Research Design and Methods: In this longitudinal retrospective study we used multiple logistic regression analysis to assess the odds ratios (ORs) of pneumonia during an observational period of 2 years in 31,397 patients with T2DM under previously prescribed stable antidiabetic drug combinations over a duration of 4 years in comparison to 6568 T2DM patients without drug therapy over 4 years adjusted for age, sex and hospitalization duration.

Results: Of the 37,965 patients with T2DM, 3720 patients underwent stable monotherapy treatment with insulin (mean age: 66.57 ± 9.72 years), 2939 individuals (mean age: 70.62 ± 8.95 y) received stable statin and insulin therapy, and 1596 patients were treated with a stable combination therapy of metformin, insulin and statins (mean age: 68.27 ± 8.86 y). In comparison to the control group without antidiabetic drugs (mean age: 72.83 ± 9.96 y), individuals undergoing insulin monotherapy (OR: 2.07, CI: 1.54–2.79, p < 0.001); insulin and statin combination therapy (OR: 2.24, CI: 1.68–3.00, p < 0.001); metformin, insulin and statin combination therapy (OR: 2.27, CI: 1.55–3.31, p < 0.001); statin, insulin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-IV inhibitor) combination therapy (OR: 4.31, CI: 1.80–10.33, p = 0.001); as well as individuals treated with metformin and sulfonylureas (OR: 1.70, CI: 1.08–2.69, p = 0.02) were at increased risk of receiving a diagnosis of pneumonia. Conclusions: Stable monotherapy with insulin, but also in combination with other antidiabetic drugs, is related to an increased risk of being diagnosed with pneumonia during hospital stays in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to untreated controls.

M. Leutner, M. Kaleta, A. Kautzky, S. Thurner, P. Klimek, A. Kautzky-Willer, Insulin as Monotherapy and in Combination with Other Glucose-Lowering Drugs Is Related to Increased Risk of Diagnosis of Pneumonia: A Longitudinal Assessment over Two Years, Journal of Personalized Medicine 11 (10) (2021) 984

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